What is Prospecting?

Prospecting (or display prospecting) helps attract new audiences who are likely to convert and become customers.

By targeting digital profiles similar to those of your existing customers, prospecting automates new customer acquisition. Also called lookalike audiences, similar audiences, or audience modelling, prospecting is the first step in a full-funnel marketing strategy.


How does Prospecting work?

Prospecting campaigns are powered by large, robust data sets of customer intent. Gathered from online publishers, social media networks, or advertiser sites, these data sets are analysed to identify potential customers who are likely to engage with your brand.

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Prospecting works as a customer-acquisition solution because it eliminates guesswork. Instead of relying on the advertiser to manually set demographic, contextual, or placement targeting, most prospecting solutions use machine learning algorithms to serve ads to probable customers.

Prospecting campaigns can also use behavioural targeting (i.e. targeting based on browsing and shopping actions) to automatically pinpoint the audiences most likely to convert.

AdRoll Prospecting vs. Facebook Lookalike Audiences vs. Google Similar Audiences in AdWords

Different prospecting tools may use different data sources to calculate customer intent. Here are some examples:

  • Facebook Lookalike Audiences finds new prospects based on similar Facebook profiles and online behaviour. This includes analysing data such as Page likes, demographics, interests, and website visits.
  • Google Similar Audiences uses data collected in the Google Display Network to prospect. The data includes information such as demographics, Google searches, video views, website visits, application downloads, and much more.
  • AdRoll Prospecting finds audiences using the IntentMap™, the largest proprietary data co-op that advertisers can access by contributing their site data. Nearly five thousand advertisers of all sizes have opted in to the IntentMap™, pooling more than 1.2 billion digital profiles from across the web and mobile. The diversity of IntentMap™ data allows AdRoll Prospecting to perform for all verticals and find new customers.

AdRoll is a single platform for all your performance marketing campaigns across the web and social media. Click to learn more about AdRoll Prospecting.

Prospecting best practices

  • Use prospecting along with retargeting for the best results. Together, prospecting and retargeting make up full-funnel marketing, which nurtures the entire customer lifecycle from brand awareness to conversion.
  • Design eye-catching creatives that feature discounts and strong calls to action in order to engage brand new prospects.
  • Ensure that your retargeting campaign captures prospecting visitors. Think of it as a relay race: prospecting passes the baton (i.e. high-quality visitors) to retargeting, which closes the deal by bringing those visitors across the finish line to conversion.

AdRoll is the most widely used prospecting and retargeting platform.

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